I started Spectra Thursday. I would have started it sooner, but I just couldn't make up my mind about colors. Definitely wanted Noro for the insets, but which yarn? Which color? and what to use for the main yarn? Ella Rae? Juniper Moon Findley? Merino Mia? All very tempting. In the end I chose Noro Silk Garden and the incredible magenta Ella Rae lace merino.
I have found that I LOVE this pattern. It seems very complicated when you're first working it, but after the first couple of repeats, it's really quite intuitive--and it's as addictive as entrelac.
Once you catch on to the concept of the short row stockinette wedges being worked in multiples of 6, you're on your way. It's a bit confusing the first time you work the short rows in the garter stitch section - you're like, "wait, aren't the short rows for the wedges?" But the short rows in the garter stitch section are there because garter stitch is much more "row-dense" than stockinette, so you need an extra couple of garter stitch rows to balance out the stockinette rows. There are 8 rows of stockinette at the widest part of the wedge, and you work an extra two rows of garter stitch for every wedge, so that's effectively one extra row of garter for each four rows of stockinette. Without the extra garter rows, the scarf would pucker instead of lying flat as it curves gracefully around the wedges. Very clever, Mr. West.
As I said, the pattern is addictive. I'm looking forward to another one - maybe this one will be a little bit larger - I'll use Silk Garden Lite and another dk weight on a size 7. If you'd like to get started on your own Spectra, we're doing it Thursday afternoons at both shops. See you there.